Prevention of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced gastroduodenal ulcers: role of mucosal protective and gastric antisecretory drugs.Dig Dis. 1995 Jan; 13 Suppl 1:48-61.DD
One of the most serious side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is upper gastrointestinal mucosal damage that may result in erosions, ulcerations and other serious complications. NSAIDs reduce endogenous prostaglandins, and this reduction is relevant to their pharmacology and toxicity. The stomach and to some extent the duodenum are the major organs involved in the mucosal toxicity of NSAIDs. With the availability of the synthetic prostaglandin misoprostol, it has become possible to prevent NSAID-induced gastroduodenal ulcers without compromising the beneficial antirheumatic and analgesic effects of NSAID therapy. In fact, misoprostol is the only drug with established long-term efficacy in preventing NSAID-induced gastroduodenal ulcers in rheumatic patients. The purpose of this communication is to critically review the efficacy of gastric antisecretory drugs, mucosal protective drugs and misoprostol when used for the prevention of NSAID-induced ulcers, considering only data from well-controlled, randomized, double-blind clinical studies. The histamine H2-receptor antagonist ranitidine has been shown to be effective in preventing NSAID-induced duodenal ulcers, but has no efficacy in preventing NSAID-induced gastric ulcers. In a direct comparative trial with ranitidine, misoprostol (200 micrograms qid) was significantly more effective than ranitidine (150 mg bid) in preventing gastric ulcers in chronic NSAID users. The inactivity of ranitidine in preventing gastric ulcers indicates that the pathogenesis of NSAID-induced gastric ulcers is not related to gastric acid. Limited but conflicting data exist with omeprazole. The mucosal-coating drug sucralfate has not been found effective in preventing NSAID ulcers. In fact, in a direct comparative trial, misoprostol (200 micrograms qid) was significantly more effective than sucralfate (1 g qid) in preventing gastric ulcers in patients receiving chronic NSAID therapy. No meaningful data exist with organic bismuth salts, a group of drugs which has mucosal coating and protective properties. From this brief overview, we conclude: (1) mucosal-coating compounds have no therapeutic role in preventing NSAID-induced ulceration; (2) gastric antisecretory drugs are not effective in preventing NSAID-induced gastric ulcers, and (3) misoprostol is the only antiulcer drug proven to be effective for preventing NSAID-induced gastric and duodenal ulcers in patients receiving chronic NSAID. Misoprostol represents a major therapeutic advance for the management of NSAID-induced mucosal injury.